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UK Gov.t new law spells doom for boat crossing migrants

Unauthorized immigrants would be banned from requesting asylum and expelled under recently proposed law.

The British government has released the specifics of a new rule that will prevent asylum seekers who arrive in the country illegally, such as in tiny boats across the English Channel, from entering the country.

With a bill known as the “Illegal Migration Bill” that will prevent anyone who enters the UK illegally from requesting asylum and will allow the authorities to deport them “to their home country or a safe third country,” the government has “pushed the boundaries of international law,” Home Secretary Suella Braverman acknowledged on Tuesday.

However, opponents of the new legislation have blasted it as being inapplicable and cruel.

What is the purpose of the UK’s new law?

The number of refugees and migrants coming on the south coast of England increased to more over 45,000 last year, up 500% in the last two years, and about 3,000 have come so far this year. As a result, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has named halting boat arrivals one of his five priority goals.

Sunak quoted the pro-Brexit campaign’s catchphrase, “Take back control of our borders, once and for all,” in claiming that the new legislation will allow the government to “take back control of our borders, once and for all.” In 2016, the UK was successfully removed from the European Union.

Although while the number of asylum claims in the UK reached a 20-year high of about 75,000 in 2022, it is still less than the EU average. Almost 240,000 asylum requests were submitted to Germany in the previous year.

How will the law operate?

The law will permit the first 28 days after arrival to hold unauthorized arrivals without bail or judicial review.

The measure will prevent migrants and refugees from invoking the anti-slavery laws to oppose judicial decisions to deport them.

Once expatriated, they will be permanently prohibited from entering the UK, making an asylum claim, or applying for British citizenship.

Only those who are deemed to be too unwell to travel or who are at “actual risk of significant and permanent harm” will be permitted to apply for asylum in the UK. Until they are transferred to another nation, tens of thousands of refugees may be kept in detention centers.

Recently, the UK and Rwanda agreed to host some of these deported individuals. The strategy, however, is being contested in court, and no refugees have been sent to the nation in East Africa to date.

What have the proposed law’s detractors said about it?

The main opposition Labour Party has called the law “political posturing,” and other critics have highlighted a number of logistical and legal obstacles that must be overcome in order to put the new law into effect.

People will be housed in abandoned military bases and resort areas, according to the authorities. But there are concerns about the government’s ability to keep people incarcerated in these facilities.

There are logistical concerns over the UK’s ability to remove tens of thousands of individuals from the nation each year and where they would go.

Rwanda only had one hostel, with a capacity for 100 people, to receive arrivals from the UK last year, a fraction of those who landed in the UK on tiny boats, and the administration has not yet negotiated any agreements of the same nature with other nations.

Refugee advocacy organizations have reported that the majority of people crossing the Channel are escaping war, persecution, or famine in nations like Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. The bulk of asylum requests from persons who arrived by boat in the UK, according to analysts analyzing Home Office statistics in 2021.

The new methods, according to the nonprofit Refugee Council, are “unworkable, expensive, and won’t stop the boats.” The organization argued that the measure will keep migrants “locked up in a condition of agony” and contrasted the government’s policy to that of “authoritarian nations,” like Russia, which have abandoned international human rights agreements.

According to some attorneys, it would be against the UN Refugee Convention, which the UK is a signatory to, to prevent persons who arrive in the country without authorization from requesting refuge. Legal disputes are likely to result from this, which can cause removals to be delayed.

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